Using Your Head

ellenCRUNCHY NUGGET: Well hello there, it’s a been a while, right?!  I’ve recently had a lil’ time off and one of my favorite shows to catch during the day is “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” This past Thursday, she introduced an app available for sale (99 cents) on iTunes called “Heads Up!” It replicates a game similar to “Celebrity” that she plays with guests.  One person holds a card above his or her forehead, and the other person gives clues to help the card-holder guess what-who is written on the card.  The app version let’s players choose from themes such as movies, animals, music, accents, etc. Players are up against a timer.  And the motion of moving the apple device up or down lets players pass and move on (tilt up), or acknowledge that the answer is correct (tilt down).  Fun, right?  What makes this app/idea so crunchy are a few things:  Yes…it went directly to #1 on iTunes, so mass awareness from Ellen was a big plus.  Absolutely…at 99 cents a sale, Warner Brothers and Ellen and the dev folks will make a nice lil’ profit.  Terrific…it’s fun and engaging and brings the spirit of Ellen and her show into real people’s homes.  And what I think is the most crunchy bit:  CONTENT!  Get this…the app uses the camera on the iPhone (or iPad) to record the game play.  App users can opt to save the video and share this content on Facebook or with the Ellen Show.  What an excellent means of spreading the word and getting real-life user examples for on-air content.  And again…very much in the fun, lighthearted spirit of the show.  Ah, content, love that!  (So much so I had to put it in bold!)

Admittedly, I have downloaded the app and am looking forward to giving it a try.  Gotta love a crunchy nugget found during a day off on an enjoyable TV program!  #goodidea #socialmediamarketing #appideas #contentmarketing

Mama to Mama

Screen shot 2013-03-12 at 2.55.42 PMFRESH FACTS:  “Moms trust other Moms” — is not a headline, nor new news.  But as someone who frequently deals with mom-targeted brands, I certainly can appreciate these crunchy new stats shared by eMarketer about Moms and what drives their purchase decisions.  Specifically, as they shop online and through mobile devices (smartphones, tablets).  Topping the list of “most important factors in making a purchase decision”: 47.4% of online/mobile shopping Moms are most influenced by Reviews and Ratings from other Moms.  So it’s not price, it’s not promotion, it’s not even direct person-to-person recos from other Moms (word of mouth) — it’s what Moms are saying about the product on that site.  So yes, even if the other mom is a complete stranger, what she has to say about her experience with the item carries a lot of credibility to an online shopping mom.  Shopping convenience comes in second at 24%.  This speaks to a retailer’s/brand’s need for excellent customer service and user experience, for sure.  And then comes promotions and discounts — Moms want a good deal at 16.7%. And the coming in at the end are: Recommendations from other Moms (WOM) at 9.8%, which is honestly quite surprising that it’s so low; followed by product awards (sounds very baby/juvenile product specific).  Again, surprising yet not surprising — a salty-sweet crunchy nugget, if you will (of course, I take it to a snack level, you know me!).  And it goes to show that Moms want to share their experiences, and other Moms want to learn from these experiences — so brands that help this process put themselves into a more advantageous position with their target.  What do you think:  do you trust reviews as much as Moms?  #mobile #marketinginsights #mommarketing #onlineshopperinsights

Fast Photos

130102040713-snapchat-story-topCRUNCHY NUGGETS:  What if you could snap a photo on your cell phone, send it to  friend, and then have it disappear in seconds — on purpose?  That’s what mobile app Snapchat enables.  As of January 1st this year, 50 million photos were being sent like this every day through Snapchat, with over one billion sent in total.  Snapchat lets you take a photo or video, add in a caption, and then choose how long you wish for the viewer to be able to see this photo or vid, up to 10 seconds, before it self destructs. The recipient can certainly take a screen shot of what they received — so keeping true to the internet, nothing sent is completely private nor deleted, necessarily.  Which leads to certainly the words “sexting” and “risque” and “parental concerns” come up when you read about Snapchat.  But this post isn’t about that…rather, it’s about how marketers are seeing interesting executions with this app. Quick!  Read on as this blog post will self destruct in 10-9-8-just kidding.

Snap, share & save — Earlier this year, frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles used Snapchat to deliver a surprise offer.  It worked like this: snap a shot using Snapchat of you and your friends enjoying 16 Handles fro yo.  Send your shot to 16 Handles’ Snapchat account.  In exchange, receive a surprise discount from 16 to 100% off of your next purchase at 16 Handles.  The recipient had 10 seconds to let the cashier scan the photo/offer before it destructed.  Now, my inner pragmatic promotions person says “Eek!  What if the cashier doesn’t know what to do…what if it disappears too quickly…” etc. etc.  But, I will say that this was a small scale program, testing out the waters of an app used by the brand’s target audience.  So good for 16 Handles.  Now, keeping that open mind, there are other ideas for using Snapchat among brands.

clickZ  — Just last week, clickZ ran an article by Andrew Solmssen. It shared his ideas on how brands can use Snapchat.  Everything from scavenger hunts to events to insider access to contests.  Now…again,..I have to let my “yes but…” execution voice hush and let this man speak.  At the very least, it shows that the platform has interesting extensions and can be a good brainstorm idea piece for your future thoughts.  Again, I think it would work best if the redemption and participation parameters were kept nice and tight and controlled.  Here is the article: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2240363/marketing-with-snapchat-its-not-just-for-the-kids?wt.mc_ev=click&WT.tsrc=Email&utm_term=&utm_content=Marketing%20With%20Snapchat%3A%20It%27s%20Not%20Just%20for%20the%20Kids&utm_campaign=01%2F31%2F13%20-%20Mobile&utm_source=ClickZ%20Media&utm_medium=Email

One last note about this app is it just goes to show how immediate today’s audiences are about their content and its consumption.  What’s new now, can be gone in 10 seconds.  Oh and as always, I think the best way to really see what something is all about is to try it.  So do go ahead and download the app, find a friend, snap away, and then look quickly!  TASTY TREND:  Socially Acceptable; Here and Now #snapchat #marketingideas #photos #mobile

Six Seconds

Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 9.58.56 AMFRESH IDEAS:  When it comes to technology, I am a huge magpie. Meaning, if it’s “shiny” and new, I’m immediately drawn to it and have to give it a try.  Such is the case with the newly released app (1/24) Vine.  And not surprisingly, brands have already started using it.

So, what is Vine? Vine is an app that allows you to record six-second videos from your smartphone or tablet in little segments or all at once. If you hold your finger down on your smartphone screen, you record one “long” video.  Or you can tap your screen to record a series of short moments inside the 6 seconds total. You can share them on your social sites — specifically this app is from a Twitter acquired company.  And you can also follow other users within the app, similar to Instagram.  The editors’ picks within Vine showcase the creativity and possibilities of how much can be done with six tiny seconds!  These picks alone are super fun and worth checking out — because the videos play in a continuous loop, it’s like watching an extended gif.

Why a brand should care: Well…it’s another means of creating and sharing content.  And we all know how much more engagement videos and photos get in social spaces (nod your head in agreement and then go back and read the August 30th Crunchy Marketing Nuggets post to keep yourself honest). It also immediately brings a brand into the mobile space.  Mashable just shared nice examples of branded Vine mini “spots” from GE, Wheat Thins and Red Vines. Again, really quick, really creative: http://mashable.com/2013/01/28/twitter-videoads-are-here/ 

I’m a hands-on girl and so I made my own little spot, for fun: http://vine.co/v/bJDEvMMaxQV

TASTY TRENDS:  Here and Now; Socially Acceptable #socialmedia #twitter #Vine #cool ideas #newtech

Traveling Tablets

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  I had the opportunity to travel recently to Italy.  And among my souvenirs, I picked up a crunchy nugget (I wonder how you say that in Italian?!).  When in Rome (and Florence and Venice)…Use a tablet. Everywhere.  A very common site among the other tourists was the heavy usage of iPads.  Travelers used their iPads to: take pictures (first and foremost I saw this as the most frequent usage), listen to tours/guides, and browse on the go.  I personally had never seen a tablet get that sort of public usage — particularly for photo snapping.  Now, smartphone photography and cameras were more common, yes.  But truly, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised given that tablet sales worldwide will more than triple between the end of 2011 and 2013, when sales will reach more than 200 million (according to eMarketer and a IHS iSuppli study).  But then again…it seems most media habit studies focus more on social and browsing and purchase behaviors versus the out-and-about usage of tablets — so my surprise is also founded in my own crunchy nugget digging.  Well, nevertheless it was quite interesting, and could present an opportunity for brands that play in the travel space, i.e., do you develop an app, do you make sure you’re tablet friendly, etc. As they say in Italy: si and grazie!  TASTY TREND: Go Mobile; Here and Now

Moms, UX, Pups & Pumpkin

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  A little bitta this…a little bitta that.  Throughout my week I typically hold aside interesting tid bits for the nuggets.  This week I have a bunch to share, so hang in there as today’s post swerves from topic to topic.  Let’s start with moms and mobile….

Moms are SoMo: So huh?!  SoMo = social and mobile  According to a new study released by eMarketer, Moms are among the fastest adopting groups to access social networks on smartphones.  According to their data: 40%, and as high as 60%, of all Moms in the US will be accessing social networks through mobile devices by the end of this year.  What this means for brand-types and marketing folks is this:  cross-platform development.  If you put it on Facebook, you gotta make sure a Mom can access it on her mobile or a tablet.  I just saw a great example of this level of execution in a Facebook post for Boden USA Clothing.  They have a sweeps that calls out how to enter right on FB (in an app) or through a mobile alternative.  OK, so that’s that…onto what I posted in the image…

Social shopping share:  While browsing potential dresses for an upcoming wedding I am attending, I was on Macy’s website.  As I was poking around a piece popped-up for me, offering to share my pictures in a poll that I could post onto Facebook.  So if I wished to, I could share my picks with friends and let them vote on which dress they like best.  Now, what I like about this feature is that it organically shares a retailer’s offerings.  My inner brand person was excited by the thought of passing along great brands, interesting styles, and the net takeaway of “Macy’s is a good place to shop for what I need…”  Particularly for retailers who need to widen their circle of shoppers.  Really good user experience piece, in my opinion.  OK, next…woof.

Pup-Up: Seriously, the concept of experiential pop-up shops for brands has been around for what…ten, fifteen years easily?!  But kudos to Rachel Ray and her new line of premium dog food Nutrish to bring a little fresh twist to it.  As a brand, Nutrish experiences 50% conversion post-sampling efforts, so getting nibbles to dogs and their owners is an important strategy.  RR has taken the idea of a food truck and has dog-ized it for her sampling efforts, with an initial in-market execution in Manhattan.  What caught my marketing eye was: 1. The cleverness of “pup-up.” Cute!  Really great way of using a food truck/mobile effort. 2. The smarts of taking sampling out and about to find lots of pet owners who are also out and about walking their dogs.  And 3. The “well duh”-ness about it.  Simple. Makes sense to point of almost being a “duh” idea.  But in a good way.  Here’s the NY Times article about this effort: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/business/media/rachael-ray-promotes-nutrish-dog-food-with-a-truck.html?ref=media  And lastly, who put pumpkin in my….

Pumpkin Flavah Crave: Do feel like you’re seeing pumpkin-flavored-this and pumpkin-flavored-that a lot lately?!  Well as someone who actually likes pumpkin flavored goodies, I certainly have and there’s good reason.  NY Magazine stated this past week: “Pumpkin is the New Bacon.”  And noting that not only is this year “one of the most active years for seasonal pumpkin menuing,” but also that sales of pumpkin drinks specifically has risen 400% in the past five years.  The list of pumpkin-touched foods and drinks is extensive.  Almost shrimp-ala-Bubba-Gump-like.  But here’s a few: Pop-Tarts, Pringles (yes, the chips in a can have gone pumpkin), ale, martinis, margaritas, bagels, English Muffins, Eggo Waffles, Dairy Queen Blizzard, Jet-Puffed marshmallows, lasagna noodles, and of course…Starbucks lattes.  *Phew!*

I have other nibbles to share, but will keep this nice and nuggety.  Hey, no matter what your plans for the weekend — a little bitta this, little bitta that, hope it’s a good one, enjoy!  TASTY TREND: Here and Now, Go Mobile, Mobile Moms

Lovin’ It

CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  It’s Monday. It’s a holiday, but not for our office.  It’s cloudy and gray out.  The AC is on in our building and it’s freezing.  Ah yes.  So many things to frown about today.  But alas…Instead, I’ve decided to post a few things that are making me smile from the marketing world.  Good and crunchy nuggets that I’m loving.  And of course, I need to share the love…

On Target: Have you read about Target’s holiday toy initiative this year?  Target is taking parental insights, specifically: sometimes “santa” can’t shop without the gift recipients present at store; and sometimes when “santa” gets around to fulfilling lists, toys are sold out.  So starting October 14th, Target is putting QR codes by each of their top 20 toys.  Scan the code using your smart phone and it gets ordered, purchased, and shipped to your home.  No worries if the gift recipient is with you as you’re not “buying it” at the register.  And no worries if the shelf has been cleared.  The mobile transaction will find it online (at the North Pole?!).  QR code naysayers state: “but will parents actually do this?”  Well…perhaps the pressures of santa (and other gift purchasing types — my apologies for focusing only on Christmas) will drive the tech behavior.  Think about the crazy stories you’ve heard before of parents going to all lengths to get toys.  This simply requires a little forward tech behavior, easy peasy.  Next up…

I want candy: And I want this in my office:  a JellyBelly jelly bean vending machine. Choose your flavors and your sizes: 2.5-oz. for $2; 5-oz. for $4; and 7-oz. for $6 portions.  Get your cup ready.  And enjoy!  They’ve offered packages before sure.  But this is the mix and match kind of tasty goodness.  And, the machine holds up to 300 pounds of JellyBelly jelly beans, yum!

Infographics are sweet, too: And lastly…you know that I love my infograhics (and if you don’t, now you do).  Here is a link to a nice, juicy piece about mobile and social and how it impacts shopping habits.  Quickie nibble example: Did you know that 60% of active Facebook users said that they’d discuss a product or a service if a discount or deal was offered?  Here’s the rest found on Mashable: http://mashable.com/2012/10/02/smart-devices-social-media-shopping/

Ah yes.  It’s the little things that warm my heart and my brain.  Now, if only the heat would get cranking in our office, that would be great.  TASTY TREND:  Here and now; Retailer Tech; Go Mobile